Germany will allow Poland to send Leopard tanks to Ukraine

Germany will allow Poland to re-export its Leopard tanks to Ukraine on Wednesday, January 25. According to Bloomberg, Polish officials have requested permission, and Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki said he expected “immediate” approval from Berlin.

German law requires permission to re-export its military equipment. This means that hundreds of Leopard tanks from Europe can be sent to Ukraine only with the consent of Berlin.

As Ukraine and its allies prepare for a possible escalation of hostilities in the spring, debate continues among Kyiv’s allies about sending battle tanks to bolster Kyiv’s forces and help recapture captured territories . American and European officials have criticized German Chancellor Olaf Scholz for being slow to make a decision. Scholz insists that Germany does not go alone in sending new categories of heavy weapons for fear of escalating conflict with Moscow.

A spokesman for the country’s defense ministry told CNN that the Bundeswehr has 320 Leopard 2 tanks, but it is not known how many of them will be combat-ready. These Leopard 2 – the A5, A6 and A7 series – are in varying degrees of wear and tear and in readiness for deployment.

There are no more Leopard 1 tanks in German warehouses, which are considered obsolete. Older Leopard 2 models such as the A4 have also been scrapped.

Arms concern Rheinmetall said last week that it has 139 combat vehicles in stock, but only 29 of those tanks will be ready for delivery this spring. These tanks are already ready for transfer to third countries. It will take more time to prepare the rest of the machines. A spokesman for Rheinmetall told CNN that some of the remaining 88 Leopard tanks could be delivered within nine months and the rest within a year.

Another German arms manufacturer, FFG, has Leopard 99s in stock, but these are older Leopard 1 series vehicles. Even if the tank is ready and repaired, it will still need ammunition and spare parts to deploy.

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